The Indian Railways is likely to invite a tender to procure 35 hydrogen-fuelled trains at a cost of around Rs 3,000 crore.
Several top companies, including BHEL, Hitachi, Siemens, Cummins, Wabtec, and Medha Servo, expressed interest in participating in the project at a recent meeting of railways with manufacturing firms.
In the meeting, the national transporter took input from the industries. Soon tender will be floated, said an official in the railways.
The railway plans to use hydrogen-fuelled trains on its heritage routes. Already, as a pilot project, the railways is making one such train at its workshop in Sonipat.
It will be the first prototype hydrogen train, which will likely be operational this year. Currently, the railway is operating eight heritage trains—the Matheran Hill Railway, Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Kalka Shimla Railway, Kangra Valley, Bilmora Waghai, Mhow Patalpani, Nilgiri Mountain Railways and Marwar-Devgarh. These trains run on steam engines.
The railways plans to convert these trains into green hydrogen-powered trains. This is part of the green initiative, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said earlier.